Ivan Ljubicic won his first grass-court championship on Saturday, beating unseeded Peter Wessels of the Netherlands 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (4) in the final of the Ordina Open.
Third-seeded Anna Chakvetadze of Russia upset top-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-3 in the rain-affected women's final of the Wimbledon warmup.
It was the second title of the year for both Ljubicic and Chakvetadze.
Second-seeded Ljubicic, who is ranked 13th in the world, got an unexpectedly tough challenge from Wessels, who never dropped his serve. Wessels is ranked 488th and was seeking only his second title in an 11-year career.
"Peter played a fantastic game, I couldn't break him once," Ljubicic said, who became the third Croat in a row to win the championship after two titles for Mario Ancic.
Earlier on Saturday, Wessels completed his semi-final match against Antony Dupuis of France, winning 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3), after it was halted on Friday due to darkness.
"Beforehand I would have been happy to make the final, but if you're there and so close, that's bitter," Wessels said.
Chakvetadze broke Jankovic in the final set to lead 4-2, only to drop serve in the next game. She recovered to 5-3 and then saved three break points to serve out the set.
Chakvetadze opened the match with a five-game streak before Jankovic found her pace and evened the first set at 5-5.
"I started off good but Jelena came back very strong," Chakvetadze said. "In the beginning of the third set, I had some luck."
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017